To mark the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ Days a second commemorative bench has been installed on Manor Park.
The bench, another Manor Park and Hempstead Fields Residents’ Association initiative, is located at the top of Browns Lane (opposite the water tower). This position was suggested at the Association’s AGM in order to provide a resting point for people walking up the hill from the shops.
Funding for the bench came partly from the Residents’ Association with significant contributions from Action in Rural Sussex, CPJ Field Funeral Directors and the Uckfield Town Council. Ric Mears of Mearsy Services kindly installed the bench without charge.
The Deputy Mayor of Uckfield, Jackie Love, unveiled the bench at a short ceremony on Sunday 16th August. Those also present included the Secretary of the Uckfield Royal British Legion, Norman Mayer who gave The Exhortation and the Legion’s Standard Bearer, Eric Senior as well as Emma Naylor and Kerry Brown representing CPJ Field Funeral Directors.
Beryl Peters, who kindly gave permission for the bench to be installed on her land, was represented by her son and his wife Mark and Shelley Peters. Mark’s late father, Derek, served in the RAF and is remembered on the plaque mounted on the bench.
The Association originally planned to install and unveil this new bench in May, on the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This would have included a flyover by a Hawker Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Flight, but lockdown intervened, and unfortunately, it was not possible to rearrange the flyover for this weekend’s event.
Paul Sparks, Chairman of the Association, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to provide another bench for the use and enjoyment of our residents.
We would like to thank the Peters family for allowing us to use their land. It was a pity that we could not go ahead with our original plans for the opening as that would have been a most memorable occasion.
However, when things return to normal, we will try to arrange a similar event for the enjoyment of our residents and to honour our service personnel.”
Mark and Shelley Peters
Cllr Jackie Love – Deputy Mayor cutting the ribbon
Emma Naylor and Kerry Brown representing CPJ Field Funeral Directors.
ALL IMAGES by Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)